Re[2]: sftp (results of a test are quite positive)

On Sat, 20 Oct 2007, Pavel Tsekov wrote:

Hello kilgota,

Saturday, October 20, 2007, 7:23:04 PM, you wrote:

On Sat, 20 Oct 2007, Pavel Tsekov wrote:

MC has FISH which is emulating a file system over ssh i.e.
listing directories, copying, moving, deleting files/directories
and so on.

I have a home machine (on which I am typing this) and an office machine
(to which I am currently connected, as it is among other things my mail
server). Sometimes, I want to move large quantities of stuff from office
to home or home to office. What I discovered, by actually trying it, is
that there is somehow a huge overhead which makes things go rather slowly.
One of the biggest problems is that when I do the connection then it takes
a very long time, apparently during which the entire filesystem on the
other end has to be read (and it is not small, but by today's standards
not huge, by any means). During this time one can do just about nothing at
all with the FISH connection. Thus, I have for a long time I have not used
this feature.

I am a bit confused so I am going to ask several questions to
understand the problem better.

Pavel, I will answer these questions for general information purposes, but on testing the feature again with the rc version everthing works fine, it seems. See below for details of a test which I just did with the rc version.

Do experience a slowdown on
the machine which runs MC or on the machine to which MC is
connected ?

The slowdown seemed to be on the machine to which one is connected.

Does it take a long time to read the directory
listing or maybe to download or upload a file ?


What do you
expect to do while MC is busy doing something ?

I did not expect it to be "busy" because it was as quick with a connection to an ftp server (ibiblio, for example, or the osuosl server) as it was slow when connecting to my office computer with fish. In other words, it seemed that the slowdown was due to efficiency or inefficiency in fish.

Note that you if you have slow upload - you are most likely
to experience a speedup if you upgrade to the new version.

Right. I suspect that what I should do is to try it right now, because I have not done this since installing the current rc version. Blow-by-blow report follows, in real time:

-- open another xterm, start mc

-- pull down menu for left panel

-- select shell connection, type

kilgota banach math auburn edu (or, I find out, that now also I can just type if the username is the same, which did not used to work. Not bad. )

in window that opens

-- see password prompt at location of command line

-- type password

-- get connected and see the / directory contents of banach

This is not changed from the past. I found it then and I find it now to be just a bit weird. If I have to identify myself as a user on the machine and actually have to log in, then why do I end up in / instead of in the user's home directory? (scratches head) I can also add that this was one of the big slowdowns in the past, that fish apparently had to assimilate whatever was in the entire directory tree on the other machine, instead of just dealing with the user's home directory at first. I can imagine that this extra step could still cause someone a problem if the connection is bad (dialup, for example).

-- cd using arrow key and highlighting to /home on banach

This is where it hung badly with the last version, apparently because there was too much processing of directory structure, and so on. Glad to report that it works nicely now!

-- cd from /home to /home/kilgota

        Again no problem.

-- actually try to download recursively a directory containing some moderately large files from banach to home computer (khayyam)

Again seems OK, with approximately the same kind of speed I would get from the command line using scp.

-- tried a similar upload from khayyam (house) to banach (office)

        This seems to work OK, too.

So congratulations, it all seems to work nicely.

The problem might come back again though if I did not have a DSL connection. I wonder if anyone can test the shell connect with dialup connection? I think the results would be interesting and instructive.

Minor suggestion, relating to user friendliness and transparency:

It would be nice if the password prompt would appear in another window instead of at the bottom of the screen, in the place where the command line would normally be. Or, if one wants to cover up the command line, then that window ought to be at the bottom, in technicolor, but it should then go away if one switches to the right panel.

Again, much improved over what was previously not quite working right. Congratulations.

Theodore Kilgore

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